The race to St Vaast from Cowes took us just under 12.5 hours to cover 90 miles with almost all of it under either spinnaker or code zero. We probably went a bit too far east as we approached Cap Barfleur, which cost us some silverware, but we still managed 5th in Class for our first cross channel this year. The last 2 miles we were neck and neck with Red Arrow the RAF Offshore racing team and, whilst they just got to the line first on their J109, we beat them on corrected time.
Round Ireland team is full again as John Costello from our 2014 team rejoins us to replace Aussie Bruce.
First booking for the Fastnet 2017 3 week package for overseas sailors made 28th April.
Paul has now finished 6 Sydney to Hobart races and was first in Class in 2015, plus taken line honours in the Lord Howe Island race. As a result we have good contacts in Oz and as well as the expensive ‘once in a lifetime’ Sydney to Hobart we can offer several other modestly priced races on Helsal 3 an iconic 66 footer. We also have a cruise from Hobart up the west of Tasmania to the UNESCO Wilderness areas. Cruises start at £150 races are a bit more e.g. Airlie Beach race week in August is £595.
‘Tis an ill wind that blows no man any good’ Drought in E Australia means we have lost a cherished team member.
You don’t have to replace his ability to make us laugh, but if you can work on the Bows, or really know the tides on the West Coast then give me a call and make me an offer. Start is Wicklow 18th June.
More on racing page.
The round the Island race is a one of the biggest sailing events in the World. 1800 yachts race round the Isle of Wight and of course one of them is Wild Spirit. We have a 2 weekend programme which means no leave needed. 3rd June for training, 1st July for the race itself. For the race we will go up to Cowes and have a reserved berth for the night before plus night of the race in West Cowes. You can join in Lymington (free parking) or Cowes(train to Southampton plus Redjet to W. Cowes.
Colin and Millie passed their Competent Crew with flying colours with Mike and Sam progressing towards Day Skipper.
After a short race against another school yacht skippered by an Instructor I had taught for Comp crew, we flew the spinnaker and sped up past Cowes for some great sailing in bright sunshine and steady breeze. We went out of both ends of the Solent during the course and judging by the comments everyone enjoyed themselves.
Millie and I would like to thank you for your expert tuition and company last week for the second part of out CC course. We were both very nervous before completing the course but feel much more confident and knowledgeable now. We do intend to continue with our sailing and will be in touch once we have completed some shore based courses. Thanks again. Colin and Millie
The Cherbourg races were replaced by a Round the Island race on Good Friday and we finished 4th in under 8 and a half hours in variable winds but with nothing strong enough to need a reef. With big tides we rounded the Bridge Cardinal and sailed up the Needles Channel under spinnaker with over 7 kts through the water and only 3 over the ground until we were able to work to the west into less tides. We enjoy a friendly rivalry with the Sigma 38s and one of them, Paracelsus, was never less than 50 m behind all the way up the Solent. We could hear their spinnaker trimmer working very hard and sometimes they managed to catch our wind but we responded and beat them both through the water and on handicap.
Saturday 5th March saw us race training and trying out new sails in the Solent. In mid afternoon we came across a 49er racing dinghy capsized with 2 crew and no safety boat in attendance. The 2 on board were having trouble keeping it upright in up to 30 kts of breeze and spending much more time in the water than out of it. At their request we stood by and kept the Coast Guard informed for about an hour an a half until after having cut sails loose the 2 very tired and cold young men on it eventually made it safely to the shore and waiting coast guards. Two other school boats that were out have commented to me on our actions and the clarity of the competent crew man that I delegated radio operations to. Wild Spirit carries a simple MOB recovery device which can be thrown to people 10 m away in the water. Had we needed to we could easily have used this and avoided having to go in close where cut lines and sails may have fouled the prop. It also lifts casualties in a way such as to minimise hydro static squeeze which can cause heart attacks in hypothermic casualties.It costs less than £20 to make and I will happily supply details. Using a fancy expensive Parbuckle attached to the side of the yacht would have given a much higher probability of fouling the prop or shaft resulting in 2 casualty vessels.
Paul skippered Spirit of Juno for OnDeck to be first sailing school yacht to finish in the Caribbean 600. We will be racing on Juno again next year for the Caribbean 600 in February and the Antigua to Bermuda race in May.
The first race training weekend saw us hit 9 kts through the water with over 50 kts of breeze as we ran under storm jib from Lymington up to Cowes. With plenty of experience on board we welcomed Mike to his first sail on a yacht after retiring from service in the Royal Navy. A cracking way to start a sailing career he signed up for another weekend and commented
Thanks for looking after a novice, your experience and competence is inspiring.
Couple of pics attached of making ready in Cowes.